PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Temple always expects a tough game from Villanova. The fact that the Wildcats are now the number one team in the nation doesn’t change the Owls’ approach.
Fran Dunphy’s squad has an opportunity to greatly enhance its NCAA Tournament resume if Temple can knock off its city rivals. The Owls have been hearing about Wednesday night’s showdown from everyone across campus. For players such as Josh Brown, it means another tough test against another city squad. It also means records do not matter when two Big 5 teams get together.READ MORE: Sharon Hill Police Officers Charged With Manslaughter In Fatal Shooting Of 8-Year-Old Fanta Bility
“All the records go out the window,” said Brown. “We expect it’s going to be a close game and we’re just trying to go out there and compete and win.”
It will not be the first test for Dunphy’s team this season against some of the best the nation has to offer. Temple lost its opener to North Carolina and has also knocked off three top 25 teams this season. Regardless of how his team plays, Dunphy doesn’t think the Owls will be intimidated by being in the national spotlight.
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“We’ve been in a very difficult arena a number of times,” Dunphy said. “By arena meaning tough competition. They should be understanding of that, but we can take no possession off. We have to understand how good they are and yet, be ready to play our best basketball.”
There will be no bulletin board material from Temple this week. Dunphy and his players all expressed their respect for Villanova. For Dunphy, it’s the same type of respect the Owls have shown for every opponent this season.
We tell them to respect greatly the team that we’re playing,” said Dunphy. “It doesn’t matter if they’re ranked five or ten or 20. They’re a terrific basketball program. They’re going to come out ready to go, and we have to come out more ready to go.”
The stage is set for what should be a memorable night on North Broad Street. The Wildcats will look to keep their spot at the top of the rankings and sweep the city series. The Owls will be looking to pull the upset and bounce off the NCAA bubble and into the mix of Bracketology. It should be Big 5 Basketball at its best.MORE NEWS: 'Water Was Completely Above The Ceiling': Queen Village Businesses Still Struggling After July Water Main Break
“It’s a big rivalry,” DeCosey said. “It’s a Big 5 game and a city game. It’s going to be a great atmosphere, and I can’t wait to compete with them.”